According to an April 2nd statement from European technology agency CERN, their engineers have solved the short circuit in an electromagnet that had been delaying things, and the restart of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is anticipated over the coming weekend.
The restart of the LHC, the giant particle accelerator built by CERN in Geneva, was initially scheduled for late March. The original time frame had to be reset after a short circuit in an electromagnet was found just days before the planned March 25th start up.
More on CERN’s Large Hadron Collider
LHC was launched back in 2008, and researchers have successfully used the 27-kilometer-long particle accelerator to smash protons together at just under the speed of light on numerous occasions. Following the collision, the particles break up into their smallest constituents, particles such as Hadrons and Bosons. The Higgs-Boson, a particle that was previously only known as a theoretical quantity, was proven to exist before the LHC was shut down three years ago. Of note, the particles are recorded with huge sensors that have a similar function to light-detecting chips in a digital camera.
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One of the world’s most complex devices has been given a significant upgrade over the last two years. Following the restart, the Large Hadron Collider will have a potential energy of 13 Terraelectron-Volts (TeV). To date, it’s largest energy generation was 8 TeV.
The CERN engineers had initially planned to boost the system up to 14 TeV, but decided to scale down slightly to minimize the chance of technical defects and failures. “At 13 TeV, the facility will be much more reliable and stable,” notes Prof, Andrey Golutvin. The professor of particle physics is assigned to one of the four huge detectors on the device; the one dedicated to the study of asymmetry between matter and antimatter.
Particle physicists have said they hope these new higher energy levels will open the door to an even better understanding of our universe. “We are all very excited,” CERN director Rolf-Dieter Heuer commented at a gathering with the media on March 12.